The drive from Medocino to Redwood State and National Park was about 3.5 hours. We checked out from Glendeven Inn at 11AM and arrived at Kuchel visitor’s center at 3pm. The park ranger gave us some car camping choices and we decided to camp at Elk Prairie campground for the next two nights. Campsites at the park before Memorial Day weekend can be reserved at a first come first serve basis. Elk Prairie is located within the Redwood State park boundary. Much of the campsites are located underneath old growth redwood trees, camping underneath these old growth trees definitely gave a mystic feel the whole experience.
The camping fee inside the state park is $35 per night and fire wood is sold at the ranger station for $8 per bundle. After setting up camp we decided to take advantage of the long day light and hiked the following trails:
- Revelation trail is a short 1 mile sensory trail great for families or anyone not familiar with the redwoods. It’s a good place to learn about the trees and the area before setting off on more advanced hikes.
- Hike to the Big Tree from Elk Prairie Campground. The Big Tree hike from the Prairie Elk campgrounds about 3.2 miles round trip. It goes through redwood forest and ends at the 1,500 year old redwood tree that is 304 ft tall. Another option for a shorter walk to the Big Tree is to park on the side of Drury Road. This will shorten the walk by a quarter of a mile.
- Prairie Elk trail circles around the campsite. At 2.8 miles round trip, it’s a nice walk to end the day after dinner. During elk season, this is a great spot to watch for elks but unfortunately we didn’t see any during our visit.Elk Prairie without the elk sighting
One of the best things about car camping is cooking better tasting food than backpacking. For dinner that night, we prepared a big serving of spaghetti and green beans. It was a delicious way to end the day!